During a heated debate on abortion in the lower chamber of Ohio’s state legislature, Democratic representative Teresa Fedor became so frustrated that she stood up and delivered a deeply personal speech, revealing that she had been raped and decided to terminate the pregnancy that resulted. The proposed bill being argued by lawmakers in Ohio would ban abortions there as soon as doctors are able to detect a heartbeat in the fetus — in some instances as early as six weeks. Fedor, who said she was raped many years ago while serving in the military, said she felt compelled to speak out about her personal experience, which some of her own family members didn’t even know about. “You don’t respect my reason, my rape, my abortion, and I guarantee you there are other women who should stand up with me and be courageous enough to speak,” she said. “What you’re doing is so fundamentally inhuman, unconstitutional, and I’ve sat here too long.” During her impassioned talk, she had to reprimand members from the opposing party who appeared to laugh, saying, “I see people laughing and I don’t appreciate that … And it happens to be a man who is laughing.” Fedor is the latest in a string of female lawmakers in the U.S. who have shared her experiences with sexual assault during legislative debates on abortion.
Watch Ohio Rep. Teresa Fedor tell her story on YouTube.
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